In a small stone outbuilding a flame from a single candle flickered and illuminated a hunched figure sat on a cold stone floor.
A wind blew in from under the old door and whistled up the captain’s kilt, the old man shuddered from the winds surprise intrusion into his nether regions and snapped him back into reality. 10 minutes into the exercise of meditating and ‘being the ball’ the captain was bored, he had eaten 2 packets of pork scratching’s to help get into the skittle zone but it wasn’t working.
He looked around his temporary meditation retreat and met the eyes of his only companion, the cat. The cat, incidentally who is named ‘A4 duplex paper jam’ started back at him, his tailed flicked as he patiently waited for pork scratching’s and possibly wondering to itself why this particular human was half painted in bright blue emulsion.
Captain stared at the cat and spoke in a broken Scottish accent
“Aye, A4 duplex paper jam my old friend you could be right, the team moost keep deir heids tonight.” The captain had been having a one sided conversation with A4 duplex paper jam for a while now and during this conversation the captain had made a tactical breakthrough.
Feeling inspired, the captain leapt from his seated position, thrust his fist into the air and roared at the small moggy.
“A4 Duplex paper jam….. they may take away our cheese and onion crisps, but they will never take our pork scratchings.”
The captain had completely forgotten about the open tin of emulsion beside his good foot, and in his excitement and haste kicked it over. Paint flew in all directions, A4 duplex paper jam hissed and quickly backed away.
Cap’in wobbled and fell arse over kilt sending the tin of paint on the now blue floor towards the retreating cat. From the floor, the captain surveyed the redecoration and muttered under his breath and sighed “Tatties o’wer the side”
The cat decided now was a good time to take his leave – there was nothing here apart from a badly dressed half blue male human in a skirt and no food. A4 duplex paper jam left, leaving a trail of blue footprints.
Tonight was the final game of the season for the brave Burtle skittlers. A win tonight would crown the skittle team Division 2 league champions – there was a lot to play for – silverware, promotion, respect, fame, their names in lights, maybe an open top bus parade through Burtle high street.
The captain, during his meditation had decided the team needed much inspiration and guidance through this crucial match, and with that in mind he was going to devote all of his considerable captaining powers to motivate and guide the team from the side line. The Braveheart VHS tape had been running back-to-back for 8 hours and the captain had completely taken on the persona of ‘William Wallace’, donning a tartan travel rug as a makeshift kilt, formed his hair into a Mel Gibson mullet, replied to any question in a broken Scottish accent and brandishing the fire poker, he felt ready.
The team assembled in the pub – it was an away game, the advantage was on the side of their opposition.
Tap, tap, tap – captain entered the building; the entire pub turned and stared at the wild haired blue warrior from across the moor. The team looked at each other; un-phased by his new appearance quietly passed him his cider.
Home team skittled first and wrote up a fine score of 67.
Burtle skittled next and wrote up scores of 66 and 59 – not a great start. Captain growled from the side lines ‘It’s a sair ficht for half a loaf’ with no idea what was said – the team continued.
Home team wobbled with a score of 55 and then answered it with 70
Burtle now down on points returned with 66 and 57 – with a 15 spare from vice-captain Nutman
Home team still ahead wrote up scores of 66 and 60
Burtle returned to the alley and scored 78 and 64 – spares from Windy Coombes and Councillor Pople – Burtle was clawing back, but it was too close to call.
Home team wrote up final scores of 60 and 67 – a fine finish that put Burtle in a tight spot.
The second to last hand and Burtle wrote up a 64 – no spares in that hand. It was now getting close, they needed some kind of genius play in order to cement a win – it could still all go ‘Pete Tong’
The captain stood, wobbled and slurred “It’s a lang road that’s no goat a turnin, and It’s gaein be awricht ance the pain has gane awa.” The team looked at each other, blankly.
Final hand. The first four players wrote up 7, 8, 7 and 6 – this was not good and continuing in this style would throw the game.
The captain looked up from his hands and firmly stated in his broken Scottish accent “It’s gaein be awricht, dickie is ere”
The weathered old captain caught the eye of the young dashing deadeye Dickie. Dickie could see a tear of hope forming in the old man’s eye and knew he couldn’t let him down, plus the cider soaked travel rug was now starting to slip and expose the captain, and the world didn’t need that – Dickie knew they needed to win and get out of there before the police or social services turned up.
Dickie strode up to the alley, silence from the team. Making careful ball selection Dickie skittled. The balls left his hand as if guided by a higher power. Smashing the skittles to the four winds. A crushing score of 16 was written up.
The team cheered, captain danced and would have thrown his underwear if he was wearing any. Dickie, who is a meek and retiring type simply took a well-earned sip of his soft drink and allowed himself a wry smile. The captain had insisted Dickie drove the car that night – another example of the captain’s tactical genius which is second to none, keep the handsome young-gun sober – just in case.
The team skittled on with a song in their hearts, following Dickies fine score Councillor Pople wrote up a 16 spare to complement Dickies – the team wrote a final score of 75 – winning the game by 12 pins.
All hail the champions.
The team, gracious in the win broke into a group rendition of ‘we are the champions’ which continued long into the night….
The captain left the pub, looked up in the night sky and said ‘Here’s tae ye!’ followed by ‘Sewn wi’ a hate needle an’ a burnin’ threed” – roughly translated means – this garment is made shoddily.
Tap, tap, tap and the captain retired into the night.
The victory parade started at 09:30 the next day at the top of the high street and ended at 09:31 at the bottom of the high street.